Wednesday was a big day for the Nebraska basketball program a five transfers signed their paperwork to make their commitments official, and Coach Fred Hoiberg joined Greg Sharpe on Sports Nightly Wednesday night to discuss each of them.
“I’m really, really excited about this group of players that we’re adding to our roster for next year and it’s a group that’s very versatile,” Hoiberg said. “It’s going to allow us to play a lot of different lineups, a lot of different ways. It’s going to give us great depth. It’s got experience. It’s got positional size and it should be something that a lot of our Husker fans should be excited about.”
Here is his complete breakdown of each of the five newcomers.
Western Nebraska Community College wing Teddy Allen:
“He had an unbelievable year at Western Nebraska. He led the nation in scoring in junior college. He averaged over 31 points per game, seven-and-a-half rebounds, so at his position — which he can play both forward spots, he’ll play all over the floor for us just because of his ability to score the basketball. He’s kind of a true combo-godward player. He averaged seven-and-a-half rebounds as a mostly small forward, so that’s a very impressive number, and also almost four assists.
“The great thing about it is a lot of times when players are volume shooters they don’t shoot a great percentage, but Teddy was a 51% shooter overall, shot almost 38% from the 3-point line and he was an 88% free-throw shooter and he shot the third-most free-throw attempts in junior college last year. He’s got experience as well. He’s played in the NCAA Tournament with West Virginia — he had a couple double-digit games in the tournament. Great experience playing for an unbelievable coach who I have a lot of respect for in Bob Huggins and again had a great year this past season. He’ll be a great addition to our team.”
Wisconsin guard Kobe King:
“Kobe’s another very versatile player. He’s got great strength and physicality, really a tough, tough kid. We played against him the first time in our game at Wisconsin. He actually led Wisconsin in scoring in the nine Big Ten games that he played, almost 13 points per game on 52% shooting. He's got a very unique skill set because he’s a very good post player; Wisconsin does a great job with that with their guards as far as posting them up. But he’s also very dynamic off the bounce.
“I think we can really make him a reliable 3-point shooter. I really like his stroke. Another guy that’s got NCAA Tournament experience, which is invaluable, and a guy that is a hard-nosed defender that I think can defend multiple positions. So another guy that’s a great addition to our team.”
Western Illinois grad transfer combo-guard Kobe Webster:
“Kobe, a three-year starter in the Summit League, a guy that improved every year with his numbers and with his play. A guy that can play both with the ball in his hand and off the ball, a true combo-guard. He played a lot of point guard for Western Illinois this year and averaged over 17 points per game. He was also fourth in his league in assist-to-turnover ratio as well. So he’s a guy that’s got very good experience. He started all three years that he was there. His assist numbers went up every year. He had a 40-point game in their league play last year and he can really, really shoot the basketball.
“He can play with the ball in his hands but I think he’ll also play very well in the backcourt with Dalano Banton or with any of those other players that we’ve either added to our roster or are returning. Again, a guy that’s got experience; I think he’s going to be a very good leader for this group and will be very good for our young group of players.”
Pittsburgh combo-guard Trey McGowens:
“Trey is a guy that played in an unbelievable league obviously in the ACC, and in his two seasons at Pitt he started 64 of the 66 games that they played. He averaged almost 12 points in his two years. The thing that I really like is you see what happened with his assist numbers in year two, they really went up and I think he’s a guy that you can put the ball in his hands and he can really facilitate the offense. As we talk about this with all these guys that have the ability to playmake, when I look back at my best teams that I had at Iowa State, I had five guys on the floor that can make a play and make a shot. Trey certainly fits into that.
“He’s another guy that can play all over the floor because of his uniqueness of his skill set and is ability to score the ball at all three levels. He had a 30-point game against Florida State and a 33-point game against Louisville in the last couple of years. Again, a very, very versatile scorer of the basketball, tough kid, athletic and a guy ta has great experience as well.”
Chipola College forward Lat Mayen:
“I really like Lat. He’s a guy that when we went down and saw him at Chipola junior college, you could just see, first of all, his shooting stroke for his size as a frontcourt player. He’s a guy that has a very pure shooting stroke. He’s a 38% 3-point shooter this last year and their point guard got hurt, so a lot of those he had to create on his own. He’s also an 82% free-throw shooter which is avery good for a player that’s 6-foot-9.
“One thing that I love about him is he had eight double-doubles this year, so he’s a guy that can really stretch the floor but he’s also a guy that can get in there and mix it up and an excellent rebounder. He averaged almost nine rebounds per game this past year so almost averaged a double-double. He had experience in a Power Five conference at TCU where he played for a great coach [in Jamie Dixon].”
The five signings leave Nebraska with one open scholarship at the moment, and Hoiberg shared how the Huskers are hoping to use it.
“We’re still looking,” Hoiberg said. “Obviously I’d like to get some depth in our frontcourt. With the way that we really got exposed, especially on the glass this last year, if we can get some help inside I think that would be something that we’ll look to with that last scholarship. We’re always looking. It’s obviously a time of year where you see a lot of transfer kids that are leaving and you see more names going into the portal every day, but there are also some really good high school players that we’re looking at as well that have yet to sign. We’re really excited about the five we signed. We’ve got one more and we think we’re in pretty good shape with a couple high-profile players.”
Hoiberg said it’s been strange operating under the current circumstances, but everyone is in the same boat and he’s making the best of it which means a lot of phone calls, FaceTimes, Zoom chats and virtual tours. He said he’s doing his best to stay ahead in recruiting as well as trying to stay in touch with his current players, sharing whatever workouts and other information the rules allow for and making sure they’re on track offensively.
Stay tuned to Hail Varsity this weekend for more from Hoiberg.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.